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February 9, 2024

Flavorful Nutrition: Fresh Greens at Rock Creek Senior Living

Category: Culinary

Author: Molly Seher, Culinary Director

When it comes to senior living, there are a few factors to consider always. One of the main considerations should be food and the overall dining experience. With that comes the delicate balance of culinary creativity and nutritional precision, the nuanced dance that unfolds within our dining rooms. We are committed to the vitality, happiness, and longevity of those we serve at Rock Creek Senior Living. Join us where the aroma of carefully prepared dishes mingles with the laughter of shared stories as we explore the significance of nutrition while unveiling some of the secrets behind our thoughtfully curated menus. 

I always exercise caution with the amount of salt used in my dishes. I’ve found that flavor can be enhanced by using herbs or citrus for extra flavor instead of relying on salt. Surprisingly, orange and lemon add much more flavor than expected. When cooking for my residents, I always keep in mind that they have entirely different palates than we do when it comes to salt and spice. We can always add more seasoning, but we can’t ever take it out.

Health-Conscious Suggestion

If a health-conscious resident were to ask me for an entrée suggestion, I would recommend grilled salmon with the daily vegetable or the catch of the week, paired with a mixed green salad. Another nutritious option on our menu is the garden sandwich, made with toasted wheat bread, turkey breast, tomato, lettuce, and onion. During the summer, we incorporate fresh vegetables sourced from our neighborhood.

I suggest high-protein items such as shakes, meat entrees, or calorie-dense foods such as rice and potatoes for residents needing to gain weight. Weight loss is a significant concern in what we do, so is ensuring residents have the means to gain weight when needed.

When dining out, I always consider my nutrition. My one guilty pleasure meal is a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s. Yes, I know they are terrible for me; however, they have always been my go-to fast food choice that I love. Healthy snacking is essential as well. A healthy snack option is cheese whisps. I love cheese; it is like eating baked cheese in a small circle. It’s perfect.

What we’ve uncovered is more than a celebration of diverse flavors and textures. It’s a testament to the commitment to prioritize the nutritional well-being of our residents. The kitchen remains the heart of our senior living experiences, and we hope the flavors shared resonate and linger in your thoughts. The creative spark in our kitchen isn’t just about pushing culinary boundaries. It’s about crafting delicious meals and a source of nourishment for our residents. I hope this inspires continued conversations about the importance of nutrition, creativity in culinary arts, and the everlasting impact they have on the lives of our older adults. 

Rock Creek Senior Living in Ankeny, IA offers senior villas, independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Mercy One Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Briarwood Golf, The District Shopping Center, Saylorville Lake Marina, Big Creek State Park, and Ankeny Community Theater.

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